Opetaia stops Flanagan in boxing bout

Adrian Warren

World-rated cruiserweight Jai Opetaia underlined his status as one of Australia's best boxers with an impressive stoppage of former world title contender Mark Flanagan in Sydney on Saturday.

Queensland veteran Flanagan's corner retired their fighter after the eighth round, during which he took a multitude of heavy shots.

Classy southpaw Opetaia (19-0, 15 KO) floored Flanagan with powerful straight lefts to the head in both the third and seventh rounds.

Opetaia, ranked in the top 15 by three of the four major boxing organisations, holds three regional titles

The slick New South Welshman dominated the fight with his superior hand speed as he regularly fired off barrages of quick accurate punches.

Flanagan (24-8, 17 KOs,) who lost a points decision to then WBA cruiserweight Super champion Denis Lebedev in 2017, showed tremendous toughness to last as long as he did.

He was cautioned a couple of times by referee Les Fear in the fourth round for low blows.

One illegal shot dropped Opetaia, who took a brief break to recover before dominating the remainder of the fight.